**** 4/5 stars
Modern & Massive is intended to be used for productions ranging from rock through to thrash metal, and therefore aims to provide plenty of low-end weight and mid punch. Specifically, GGD's marketing department describe the instrument as having a "polished, beefy, in-your-face sound", which is deliberately neutral in terms of its tone and processing so that the user can decide the direction they want to take things. Likewise, the Kontakt interface looks extremely neutral and bland, which is actually rather refreshing!
The default page of the interface features a graphic of a plain kit in a grey room, with Master and Reverb level sliders to its left, and a row of buttons above. The buttons mostly lead to drum and percussion editing pages when clicked, apart from one which opens a groove player featuring a variety of MIDI patterns and options for muting or soloing elements of the kit from whatever pattern is being auditioned.
To help the user find what they want to edit quickly, kick, snare, toms and cymbals have been given separate edit pages, and on each of these there is a virtual mixer with pan, level, mute, solo, EQ and invert‑polarity controls. These controls appear on every room, OH and close‑mic channel.
Lastly, there is a page called Settings, where the volume of the percussion instruments in each mic channel can be attenuated, along with the bleed levels of toms and percussion in the top and bottom snare mics. In short, having the Settings page means that not only is it possible to alter the relative balance of the kit as a whole, but also the microphone mix balance of the individual kit elements.
As one would expect, a range of sound options for every drum kit element is provided. For example, the user has nine snare types to choose from, and these are loaded either by clicking on a little menu icon on the snare part of the drum kit graphic, or from a menu within the snare's own mixer page. Similarly, the chosen sample can be auditioned by clicking directly on the relevant part of the graphic, or by triggering it using the virtual keyboard, which is colour coded to indicate the key assignment of each element of the kit. As for the rest of the kit, there are 14 tom and 10 cymbal options to choose from.
Overall, Modern & Massive's interface is so straightforward that a novice user should need little or no guidance to operate it. As for the sounds, they definitely meet the brief, by delivering power and bottom end while remaining natural and fairly neutral. They also shy away from sounding harsh, so the kit could actually be applied to a wide range of productions beyond rock and metal. Can you get good drums with this product? Absolutely.